Stephanie Wallace, HS&E Manager – Programs and Systems, Oil States International, is a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program. She recently shared her insights on the energy services and technology sector.
ENERGY WORKFORCE: What is your role with the company? What does a typical day look like?
Stephanie Wallace: I am the Health, Safety and Environmental Manager of Programs and Systems for Oil States International. My core focus areas are sustainability efforts within our organization, data analysis and incident management. With the continual evolution of our industry, a typical day for me is always exciting and filled with new challenges and learning opportunities.
EW: What individual has been most instrumental in helping with your career? What did their mentorship look like, and how did it guide your path?
SW: I have been lucky enough to have been with the same company for the past eight years. During this time, I have worked with many different colleagues, which has taught me the value of effective teamwork and communication. Gary Childress, VP of HSE and Sustainability at Oil States International, helped shape the trajectory of my career by showing me the effect of implementing change for improvement. Gary encourages long-term thinking and independent problem solving. His enthusiasm for sharing experience and providing honest feedback has directly impacted my outlook when assessing a situation.
EW: What was your impression of the industry beforehand and how has it evolved?
SW: I grew up in a small South Texas town surrounded by oil and gas. While growing up, I did not imagine having a career in this industry; I was surrounded by it and wanted something outside of that. Today, however, I could not imagine working in any other industry. One of the fundamental impressions I had of the industry that has not changed is how resilient and hardworking everyone involved in oil and gas is.
EW: What has surprised you most about the industry?
SW: The ability to adapt. Our industry is faced with constant challenges, and it does not become complacent. I am often surprised at people who work in the industry; they are passionate and proud of their work. I find those characteristics are unique to the oil and gas industry.
EW: Where do you hope to see the industry develop over the next five years?
SW: I hope to see our industry continue to evolve and utilize technologies to provide safe, clean energy. I hope to continue to see improvement across the board to decrease incidents and our carbon footprint, and I hope to see more women working in this industry.
EW: What role do you believe you will play in the industry’s future?
SW: I have recently begun a new role in my organization and have joined the ESG team; I hope to further the positive impact that ESG has on the oil and gas industry. I also hope to encourage women to continue to pursue a career in the industry and break the stigma that oil and gas is male-dominated.
EW: How has your involvement in Energy Workforce supported your career goals?
SW: Energy Workforce has provided a platform among peers to share industry best practices and networking opportunities. Through Energy Workforce, I have had the chance to partake in the Executive Leadership Program, which helped my leadership skills and effective communication with colleagues. I am currently in the ESG Certification Program and am learning about the ever-evolving ESG expectations and what they mean not only to my company but to the industry as a whole.
EW: Who are one or two individuals you’ve met while working in the industry who have impacted your thinking?
SW: I have had the opportunity to work with an incredible team that has helped me grow in various facets of my career. I would like to recognize my Executive Leadership Program mentor, Leslie Beyer, Energy Workforce CEO. Leslie has influenced my thinking about diversity and equality in the oil and gas industry. She has coached me to utilize my leadership skills effectively and has encouraged me to be confident in myself and my role.
EW: What‘s a technology or innovation you’ve seen in the sector that impressed you?
SW: This industry seems to have a reputation of being antiquated; however, it is one of the most evolving and versatile industries. I am impressed with how quickly our industry can rebound and implement new technologies. I’m also impressed with our industry’s leadership role regarding the push for ESG initiatives.
EW: What advice would you give someone just getting started in the oil and gas industry?
SW: This is a fast-paced industry, but it has all the offerings for fresh ideas and hardworking individuals. Keeping new goals out in front of you will serve you well.
EW: What do you wish other people knew about oil and gas?
SW: I wish more people realized that oil and gas is an entire industry full of great people working hard to enact change for the betterment of their employees, their companies and the world.
EW: What do you do for fun?
SW: I enjoy trying new things, spending time outdoors and generally experiencing life with a glass-half-full perspective.
EW: What’s your idea of a perfect vacation?
SW: Like so many others, I love to travel and experience a new place or culture with my husband.
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